News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Santiam baseball jumps out to 3-0 mark in league play

Santiam Wolverines

The Santiam High baseball team has used its explosive offense to move out to a 3-0 start in Class 2A-1A Special District 2 play.

The Wolverines have defeated East Linn Christian by 13-9 and 12-2 scores and bounced the Monroe/Alsea cooperative team 9-3 to improve to 7-4 overall at presstime. Santiam, ranked No. 21 in Class 2A-1A, is tied for first in the early going with No. 13 Regis (6-4, 3-0). The two teams play a single game April 23 in Mill City and tangle in an April 26 doubleheader in Stayton.

“We are scoring a lot of runs right now,” Santiam coach Clint Forste told The Canyon Weekly. “For the most part we have a good combination of hitting and drawing walks. We have to get better at two-strike approaches and put the ball in play more in those situations. We have to cut down on our strikeouts and have more quality at-bats.” 

The top 3 hitters at this point are Mason Lindemann, Connor Meeker and Lukus Lebahn. 

“They’ve had quality at-bats and do a great job on the base paths, which puts us in good situations to score runs on balls put in play,” Forste said.

Forste added that the “pitching has been pretty good up to this point. Owen Rupert and Lindemann are our go-to guys right now. I feel confident in our spot starters and relievers as well. Lukus Lebahn, Jakob Crowell, Payte Hansen and Hunter Titus have done a good job coming in for us. As a staff we need to do a better job of keeping our pitch counts down. 

“Our outfield has been great defensively. Their ability to get to balls, throw guys out, and backing up throws has kept us in games and put us in great situations. 

“If we want to achieve our goal, our infield play needs to get better. 

“Right now our approach is to tie or win each individual inning. We’ve done pretty good so far, but have a tendency to give up one big inning every game. Once we learn how to get past that and not let our mistakes stack up, we will be much better. I keep reminding myself that we are pretty young and lack quality experience. Overall, I’m very happy with where we are right now, but we are not where we want to be yet.”

Forste, whose roster includes just one senior, cited Regis and Culver (5-5, 1-3) as teams to watch in the district, but added “there’s not a team in the league we can take lightly.”

Scio Loggers

Scio, meanwhile, is off to a 2-1 start in Class 3A’s Special District 2. The Loggers were 5-7 overall and ranked 18th in Class 3A at The Canyon Weekly’s press time. Scio split games with Amity and downed Dayton to craft its 2-1 league mark.

“We’ve all been very pleased with the way we’ve been hitting the ball to start the season,” coach Jacob Ruby told The Canyon Weekly. “Senior leadership has been key in driving home runs. Braeden McIntyre has been on a tear at the plate to start the season, hitting .655 with six doubles and 15 RBIs, while also pitching a 2.66 ERA over 24 innings in three wins. Other seniors Kyle Ennis, Cody Roofener, and Bryan Parazoo are all hitting over .375, with Kyle leading the pack with a .394 average with 11 RBIs and two triples. Some unexpectedly early impressive play has also come from freshman Arley LeBard who is hitting .276 with nine RBIs and sophomore catcher Hunter Davis, who has nine hits to only three Ks and 11 RBIs.”

No. 22 Santiam Christian leads the district with a 3-0 mark, followed by Scio, No. 16 Taft and No. 17 Amity all at 2-1. 

“The district looks tough as always, with a few perennial contenders, especially a surging Taft,” Ruby said. “We expect to compete with the best of the group, especially when McIntyre is on the mound. Our biggest swing factor is seeing who will step up to be our No. 2 pitcher. With the way we can hit, if someone steps up their pitching, we will be right there in the run for the league title.”

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